another question, this is for anyone working with the mark iii JF files, do you know if they are all scaled to each other? it looks as though most are scaled to 1.6555, except the neck (as i've seen so far). That is, Do you think all the files can be scaled down by the same percentage?
So far I've built the arm in paper, and the shoulder, and they seem pretty large on me, i'm scaling them down 20%. I want a pretty fitted suit as I'm a decent size lad already. I'm 5'10", 180 lb., 33" waist, and am trying to get a smaller look in general than I've seen many builders get. Anyway, the long-winded point is I feel like I'm already a decent-sized dude, and don't need the suit to look oversized as some folks get.
Last edited by Kurtis876; Jul 26, 2012 at 11:33 PM.
Wanted to thank JF for the files. I went out and bought some 1/4" camping foam ($10 for a 70" x 39" roll) but I find it to soft. Has only one else use this type of foam before or should I try something else?
Well, once you start doing the painting process, it'll get "stiffer". Don't worry about the softness now.
I just find with this foam I'm unable to get any angle cuts even with a new blade. I get one angle cut for the mountain and when I go to do the other the foam just bunches up making one horrible cut line
Another option is Joann.com, they have 6mm "Darice" eva foam sheets, about $1 per 12x9 sheet... however they have it on sale right now, you can get a 10 pack for $6.49. Just search for 6mm foam. Joann always has some kind of coupon you can use too. Hope this helps!
Amazon.com: Foamwerks Straight/Bevel Cutter: Arts, Crafts & Sewing
Otherwise you could try a hotknife, or a box cutter. Angles on a curve are definitely tough sometimes, anyone else have suggestions?
Thought I'd give it another shot with this foam. Had enough to just do the right shin. Still need some work on size and angles. But other then that, didn't come out to bad for my first try
Foam can be shaped well with a heat gun. Try to make less cuts in curved areas and bend the foam instead, it'll look better. Takes a little practice to find out how to modify the pep files and how to use the heat gun... also consider buying a pair of gloves at your hardware store!
I gotta say I love these files JF and DF! this mk iii is definitely the most foam friendly I've used! I have the right leg done, though I keep forgetting to take pics. I want to do a little more thermoforming on the calf too. I wish I had seen these before I built stealth's torso... though his is awesome too, I really like the simplicity of these!
It seems that the Mark III DF, JF, and stealth files are all interchangable at the same scale...that of course would make sense right, since they are all from the DF files? I'm going to add the JF spine to the stealth back today, seems like it should fit according to the cardstock cutout. Thank you so much JF, DF, and Stealth!
These tips and tricks are invaluable mate, many thanks for making foam building a hell of a lot easier......oh and i borrowed your idea for making the arc reactor, it works really well so thanks very much
ok guys, Just thought I'd post a quick pic... My first full foam IM build is almost complete. I'll probably post a new thread with pics I've taken over the last 3 weeks... Clearly I had no idea how much foam it would take haha! I'll post more in the future. This was built using JF's custom files, and DF's arm files, mixed with Stealth's chest and back DF edits.
What took the longest was the abs, I somehow got it in my head that I wanted to do them from scratch, which ended up taking forever. Fits pretty well though! Overall, I must say there was a BUNCH of customizing, but thanks so much for the great files guys!!
My main and probably only problem is that the biceps fit pretty tight, but look too big! I might have to rebuild them using 4mm foam.
Excellent job !
What did you use to dig the dark lines on, for exemple, the brown leg ? it looks realy workmanlike.
I have to agree with JF, those seam lines are so straight and clean they almost look machined....but it is foam right??
Eager to hear how you accomplish those!
Maybe the secret is a well stocked bar??? hmmm maybe onto something here spideyman.
Last edited by electraflier; Aug 22, 2012 at 7:18 PM.
HAA! wow that's really a compliment man thanks to you both!
Welllllll what it is is... A hotknife. I drew out the lines I wanted, using a ruler and a flexicurve, following movie stills and a 10" mk iii toy I have, as well as a great file i found on turbosquid. After I layed them all out, I "burnished" them about one mm deep into the foam, slowwwly but surely. It was high risk, but I felt I had the practice for it. Any tiny mess-ups I will go back and do fine battle damage in the paint stage. I've been going for a simple look that still looks detailed enough to be not cheap, slightly movie-esque, and hopefully will look good come paint time.
As I progressed, I learned good speed, pressure, and angle of the knife, which helped get a lot of the edges continuous. Plus, sometimes the lines I needed follow the actual Foam seams, so that also to care of some imperfections. PLEASE practice on scrap if you're going to attempt the hotknife! I used a tiny (almost looks like a ballpoint pen) knife nib (DOES NOT look like the xacto blade), cranked the heat up to orange/red, and kept my hand steady. Boom. It's something I attempted many times, but I actually got a tip from Mr. Bibou which helped. Props to him!
Yes, I used 2, 3, 4, and 6mm EVA foam, Darice and some from "wandy foam" on ebay, which was EXCELLENT (the light tan). There are definitely differences in ease of cutting amongst brands of foam companies.
There are alot of cool little zippers, snaps, chicago screws, and velcros that I'll post more of later.
The suit will be topped with either my Pannaus or Finhead lid (Tjack made), so I'm pumped!
But I will say to anyone, start with good templates, nice cutouts, sharp blades, and take your time, you can get some really great edges! I'll post more pics in the future, thanks again everyone!
jf you are a gentleman and a scholar
JF, I was planning to use your Mark 4 templates for my foam/resin build I am starting. I am 5 ft 8 inches tall. Would the default scale on your converted Mk. 4 fit me?
Or do you think I should measure each piece to my body parts?
About this legitimate scaling question, the suit you've chosen is by default scaled for a 1m83 guy (6'). If you're 1m73 (5'8") and don't want to look like a squirrel in a spacesuit, you just have to compute for all file the folowing [default_scale_ratio x (173/183)] to you obtain your own scaling value.
Here the scale ratio is set to sommething like 25 ? Or whatever else, it's simply an unconcrete value that represents nothing you can mesure, but it's a value set for someone of 1m83. If you're smaller, this value must be smaller, by a proportionnal and linear factor. For a ratio of 25, your result will be near 23,64. Imput this value insted of the 25, click OK, then tweak the alignment of sheats borders by moving your 2D shapes if needed (paper templates will be smaller, but paper sheats's size remains the same, so you'll have the feeling that your templates have moved to the top left corner of the 2D view), and at last print your templates.
This is the basical way to operate. But if you know you have realy short legs and long arms, for example, you may want to take measurements on your body and specify a well matching ratio for each of your suit parts... I don't like this approach because IMO it breaks the harmony of proportions.
Oh, and I'm 178, and did not rescale my mk4 suit. You may notice from pictures that it'a bit too large. I don't like a suit to constrict me as tight as a coat of paint.
Last edited by JFcustom; Aug 29, 2012 at 4:27 AM.
How to sharpen a blade.
I read in almost every thread about issues with foam clean cutting that several dozens of new blades can be needed to build a full suit. Of course we all agree on the requirement of a highly sharp blade, and the less we can say is that a supersharp blade does not stay supersharp for a long time at all.
It mustn't be a reason to replace it systematically. Only the very edge of the blade is blunt, don't waist it for such a short. There are many ways to sharpen it back. You're allowed to disbelieve : I use the same blade since april. I'm a tightwad...
If foam by itself is able to blunt a blade, this same foam may also sharpen it. The main trick is NOT to take an aggressive nor fierce material. No whetstone, no grindstone, no polishing Dremel tip, not event the thinest sanding paper... Something just like Death, in "Reaper man" from Terry Pratchett, is sharpening his scytheblade using wind and moonlight until it can even cut a conversation.
Here we must choose a couple of tools, that will widely depend of what you can find around you :
- a long and soft one, like the wooden stick of your sweeper.
- a hard and sleek one, for exemple the handle of a steel ladle,
An object with a circular section works better. Too flat and the blade won't press enough, too thin and it will press too much.
The way you would lay down some marmelade on a toast, scrub with some wide movements each side of the slanted blade on the surface of your wooden stick. On all the length of the blade, always in the same direction. Do not press at all ! the weight of the cutter is enough. Do it lightly and tactfully. Wood is slightly abrasive, it will polish the edge of the blade. Then, do the same on the steel handle. Metal is hard and bald, it will flatten the imperfections. Do it ten times on each side with each tool, and check the sharpness on a small wasted piece of foam. Do it frequently, don't wait your blade to be worn out before doing it again.
You can also use a strip of cardboard, the side of a shoebox, an empty roll of kitchen paper,even a tissue flap... a copper pipe, the side of your desktop computer, a metal doorknob or chair leg...